From ATMs to mobile apps, sophisticated digital technologies and internet services allow us to live virtually paper-free! Happily, it’s possible to introduce that same level of paperless convenience into your own business platform. Manual transactions and documentation are inefficient and costly. But cloud computing, digital document management, and other forms of office automation are making it relatively easy for companies to benefit from a paperless workplace.
While it would be rare to eliminate all paper from the typical office environment, the more of your workflow you can automate, the better off both the environment and your bottom line will be.
Don’t Let Your Business Get Bogged Down by Paper
The pursuit of paperless solutions in the workplace can cut overhead costs and boost efficiency.
A simple customer query can consume enormous amounts of time. But you can avoid all this by introducing basic digitalization into various areas of your business. Some of these areas may include but are certainly not limited to:
- Document storage, retrieval, and forwarding
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
Although there may be some workarounds for specific industries, switching to a paperless office in some form is doable if you tackle it one step at a time.
When the Pros of Paperless Outweigh the Cons
Before you consider the inherent advantages of a paperless business platform, let’s get the downside out of the way. Here are some of the negatives associated with striving for a digital workflow:
- You may need to purchase advanced hardware, software, and regular upgrades
- Training employees in new procedures can take time and persistence
- The initial migration of your office systems can sometimes be expensive and time-consuming
Every business owner must weigh the pros of a paperless approach against potential pitfalls like these. But remember: “paperless” is a spectrum. It’s up to you to determine how much digitalization is right for the size and nature of your company.
Now let’s take a look at some of the benefits you can expect to enjoy when you take steps to green your business.
To begin with, it’s one of the best ways to cut expenses related to office supplies (think postage, envelopes, toner, and equipment maintenance), and to ramp up productivity in the workplace. Here are some additional factors for you to consider:
- Going digital can help your business organize and consolidate supplier payments. Better control can lead to more streamlined invoice approvals, more timely payables, and the chance to capitalize on early payment discounts and preferred pricing opportunities.
- Less physical file storage space can mean cost savings where square footage leasing is concerned. There’s also a much lower chance that documents will go missing when they’re filed electronically.
- A digital environment generates opportunities for working remotely and for promoting flexible schedules. This can greatly improve efficiency and may attract better quality job applicants.
- Reducing your dependence on paper is a key consideration when it comes to recovering from an unexpected disaster like flood, theft, or fire.
Going digital means your business can benefit from the integration of software platforms. Electronic databases improve workplace organization and provide a detailed view into your company’s processes and progress. They also allow you to set up workflows where time-sensitive tasks are stream lined and crucial employee reminders and notifications are triggered automatically.
Adopting a paperless business platform can take time, so don’t be afraid to start slow. Even the simplest of changes can help your business cut costs and run more efficiently.